SHERIDAN—Representative Mark Semlek, of Crook County, was awarded the 2014 Wyoming Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the 95th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB).  Presented Nov. 14, the award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to agriculture.

“Openness, honesty, integrity and hard work are the dominant traits shown by Mark Semlek in his service to agriculture and Wyoming,” said Perry Livingston, WyFB President.  “Mark has the ability to collaborate with diverse people and organizations to find practical solutions to issues that impact Wyoming and its citizens.”

“Mark’s commitment to public service and working for what is best for Wyoming and the agriculture industry makes him truly deserving of this award,” Livingston continued.

Representative Semlek has served as an elected official for 23 of the last 30 years.  He is a rancher, a family man, and a dedicated leader.    His public service includes four years as a trustee for the Crook County School District, seven years as a Crook County Commissioner and 12 years as a State Representative for House District #1.  

“All those years of public service have taken place in my home county and we have done some of the same jobs, like county commissioner,” Livingston said.  “Mark has always served his county with distinction.”

During his tenure as a state legislator, Representative Semlek served as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee for six years.  He also served on the Revenue, Select Water, and Education committees. 

“His commitment to public service is evident with a nearly perfect record on meeting attendance and floor votes as well as participation at Crook County Farm Bureau’s legislative review forums,” wrote the Crook County Farm Bureau Federation.

When an environmental group was abusing Wyoming law to prohibit multiple use on public lands, he was instrumental in removing the Very Rare and Uncommon statutes from the books. 

A long time Crook County rancher and Crook County Farm Bureau member, Representative Semlek attended high school in Moorcroft going on to earn a bachelors degree in Animal Science and a masters degree in Food Science at the University of Wyoming.  After graduation, he worked for three years at Cornell University promoting beef cattle in New York state.  He and his family then came back to work on the family ranch.   

Located in western Crook County, the Semlek Ranch was established in 1911.  His grandpa operated the ranch after returning from World War I.  Then for nearly 35 years, Representative Semlek managed the ranch with his father.  He and his wife, Shelia, were married in 1969.  They have five children and eleven grandchildren.

“It has been an honor to serve Wyoming agriculture this way in the Wyoming Legislature,” Representative Semlek told Farm Bureau members.  “My interest in agriculture and my work on the agriculture committee has been enhanced by my association with Farm Bureau.”

“On policy issues we were very like-minded and I found it very easy to have conversations and discussions with Brett and Ken (WyFB Lobbyists),” He explained.  “When I would ask for testimony in committee meetings, their response was predictable, solid and pretty representative of the heart and mind of the people in Wyoming agriculture.”

“Thank you again for this great honor,” Representative Semlek concluded.  “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Wyoming agriculture in the way that I have been the last 12 years.”

“The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is proud to honor Representative Mark Semlek with the 2014 Distinguished Service Award,” Livingston concluded.  “We thank Mark for his distinguished leadership and service to agriculture and Wyoming.”

            The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization.  Members work together from the grassroots to develop agricultural policy, programs and services to enhance the rural lifestyle of Wyoming.  On the web,